Stern words for climate change and development

Made famous by the epynomous report on climate change, Sir Nicholas Stern spoke recently on the need to reframe the climate change debate through the lens of development. He said that the two were tied at the hip. Here is the video.

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Here is an excerpt taken from the speech:

Development and climate change are the two big issues of the 21st Century. And unless we tackle them together we will fail on both of them. Climate change, if it goes on unmanaged will undermine development. Any response to climate change which appears to stall development will fail. It will fail politically and it will deserve to fail. Unless we tackle them both together we are not going to be successful on either…Now, how does all this work? Well, climate change starts with people and it ends in people. [Source: Global Development: Views from the Center]

My 2-cents after the jump …

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TC-I Tidbits

Your daily dose of information:

Energy and Environment: PM Manmohan Singh unveiled the country’s new Climate Action Plan, which will focus a large portion of its efforts on solar power. The plan also emphasized that these efforts are domestic in nature and that India is still firm on its stance against current international agreements.

Health: A new diagnostic tool will help identify drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) in only two days time; previous method took over two months.

Employment and Rural Jobs: A recent census suggests that rural jobs, both agrarian and non-, are growing at a faster pace than their counterparts in the urban centers, potentially decreasing urban migration across the country.

[Guest Post] (Op-Ed): India announces “safe” climate change action plan, misses a chance for international leadership

Editor’s Note: Guest Blogger Jordan Bower is an intern at Indicorps, where he is promoting growth of Ultimate Frisbee in Ahmedabad as a means of inspiring leadership and community integration among local youth.

The defining struggle with climate change is that we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

The economic development boom currently occurring in India is directly related to the increased production of carbon emissions believed to contribute to climate change. Policy makers are faced with an uncomfortable choice between capping growth outright or encouraging “responsible” development without restrictive limits. Yesterday, in announcing a draft of its national action plan on climate change, India’s government sided with the latter option.

From the Indian Express:

India has decided to stick to the safe path on dealing with climate change. In the much-awaited draft of its national action plan, there is no word on carbon cuts or caps on industry. Instead, it is “avoidance of emissions.” In the penultimate draft, there were caps specified for various sectors, including industry, which have been dropped — for now. The catchword for the action plan is “saving” or “efficiency” rather than capping.

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A Magical Fable About Global Warming

A documentary fable by Mumbai filmmaker Nitin Das was handpicked to be a part of the UN Environment Programme’s “Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.” Over two billion trees have been planted around the world under the campaign, and all sectors are encouraged to engage in voluntary action to address the issue of climate change. The film will be a part of the campaign’s advocacy:

Meanwhile the film by Das, portrays the journey undertaken by a small boy in a tiny Himalayan village who is entrusted by his chieftain to seek solution to the problems of sudden food shortage and climate change in his once prosperous and happy village.

The boy trudges up mountains and journeys to an old sage at the top of the mountain who hands over a fistful of seeds to him with the counsel that planting them will restore the lost peace and happiness of his village.

See what the monk says to the little boy about the solution to global warming by watching the video below.

TC-I Tidbits

Here is your daily dose of headlines about innovative or anti-innovative ideas from around the country:

  • Microfinance
    • ACCESS Development Services and Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development will work to build cooperation between Europe and India to assist 20 MFIs in the country.
    • SKS Microfinance and Bajaj Allianz will form a partnership to provide clients with insurance products.
    • Standard Chartered expects to ramp up its investment in Indian MFIs.
  • Global Trends
    • The lure of high salaries and chance of returning home has encouraged many non-returning Indians to become returning ones.
  • Central Government
    • Power Generation and Transmission
      • In order to address load demands between the two countries, India and Sri Lanka will build a power line between them to help each deal with supply shortages.
      • The centre’s support for private initiatives to produce and provide hydro-electric power has come under scrutiny for whether only the wealthy have enjoyed access to the energy.
      • The government also presented its report on the safety of its proposed civilian nuclear program at the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
    • Climate Change
      • Pushing forward on the way the country will tackle global warming, the federal government looked to split up the effort into three parts.
  • State and Local Governments
    • Andhra Pradesh
    • Maharashtra
      • Education: Proposed rules will prohibit private school teachers from providing tuitions outside of the classroom, in order to eliminate the chance that these teachers favor these tutees over their own students.
    • Pune
      • Health: A NGO here utilizes pets to bring about emotional stimulation in autistic children.
    • Visakhapatnam
      • Housing: The ‘Rajiv Swagruha’ scheme has finally become a reality — promising the ability to own housing for over 10,000 applicants has begun, with the first acquisition of land by the city.

Headlines Digest

We have decided to condense the headlines to be posted once each workday. Please comment here, if you prefer the Midday and Evening posts.

  • Global Warming and Energy: P. Chindambaram speaks on measures taken by India to combat global warming. In similar news, in Haryana the government has granted a 27 crore contract to a company to build a 6MW biomass power plant.
  • Technology’s Pluses and Minuses: InfoDev new working paper on technology in health highlights both opportunities and challenges with regard to medicine. Also, the Ministry of Rural Development has called out state governments to provide transparent and effective means for their people to express grievances to the government. On the other hand, the advent of computer-aided design has made it difficult for Chirala saree weavers to remain competitive.
  • PPP: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) with the help of the private sector will setup up mini tool rooms to encourage the development of those products that will help small and medium size enterprises work more effectively.
  • Education: The UN will train Indian statisticians via the Internet. Another education article has reported that OBCs have won their 27% quota.

A Look Back on the Week

To help our readers better digest the prolific number of posts that appear throughout a given week, the ThinkChange India team will be providing weekly recaps on what posts garnered the most interest and also we will highlight some older posts that we feel deserve to be featured again.

From Sunday to Sunday — The Top Posts of the Week

  1. Santosh wrote on the development of a new social capital exchange. (62 views)
  2. A post by Prerna on For Love of Water (FLOW) enjoyed the second spot this week. (40 views)
  3. Shital’s reporting on women barefoot solar engineers also got much attention this week. (31 views)

Highlighted Jobs, Internships and Other Opportunities

  1. SKS Hyderbad is soliciting applications for a summer intern and Program Director. (31 views)
  2. An internship for Source for Change also gained noticeable attention this week. (30 views)
  3. Another post on an essay competition on climate change and health also received some focus by our readers this week. (29 views)

Reaching into the Archives

In this section we will link back to an older post that we believe deserves to be featured one more time.

Fresh off of the launch of ThinkChange India, Vinay wrote an Op-Ed on the value of having both arrogance and humility with regard to being a social entrepreneur. The post originally was published on March 3, 2008. (106 views)

We hope that these weekly recaps will help you better navigate our site and to make it even easier for our readers to keep up with everything exciting that is going on in India. Also, as always, we encourage all of you to keep commenting and participating as that is the best feedback to make sure we are doing a good job.


The ThinkChange India Team